The Economist dismisses the idea of President Bush as someone above partisanship in an article this week. The facts are clear:
The laid-back Mr Bush is, in fact, a whirlwind of partisan energy. He has spent more time on the campaign trail than any of his predecessors, and raised far more money for next month’s elections ($140m and counting). He plans to hit the road for 14 straight days before the election, sweeping through as many as four states a day and visiting all those with tight Senate races.
Mr Bush has used a disputed election victory to push through a strikingly radical agenda, on everything from tax cuts to military pre-emption. At the same time, he has refashioned the Republican Party in his easy-going image, urging it to swap the angry snarl of Gingrichism for the smiling face of compassionate conservatism. Previous presidents have used placemen to keep an eye on the party machinery. Mr Bush has centralised control of the party in the White House. Karl Rove, Mr Bush’s closest adviser, has a hand in everything from shaping high policy to choosing local candidates.
Unfortunately, as the article points out, it seems to be working out well for him.